'Untitled (Colonnade 4)' - A view looking out from the covered lower walkway of Bottle Alley, showing two men walking their dogs on the beach

3 May 2020
Bottle Alley, The Promenade, St Margaret's Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, Hastings, East Sussex
Photograph (Digital)
Not what you're looking for? Try a new search


The Picturing Lockdown Collection was created during April and May 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. During seven days the public were asked to submit photographs that they felt best represented their experiences of lockdown in England, and from these submissions one hundred representing all the different geographic regions were chosen to be archived with Historic England. Alongside these images, ten artists were commissioned to produce their own images over the course of five days, representing their lockdown experience. These were supplemented with images by Historic England’s own photographers. Together, the Picturing Lockdown collection forms a permanent visual record of this unusual time in history.

This photograph, taken at 11.27 on 3rd May 2020, is the fourth of six images depicting the lockdown as experienced by the artist Chloe Dewe Mathews, and represents the South East region. The artist has written the following text to explain how this image documents their experience of lockdown: "The English seaside promenade was conceived as a social space for the Victorian public to relax, exercise and convalesce at the point where man-made and natural environments meet. I live in St Leonards-on-Sea, on the south coast, in a flat without a garden, but four minutes walk from the sea. In 1937 Sidney Little (later dubbed the ‘concrete king’) designed and built Bottle Alley, an innovative 330m stretch of double deck promenade with a lower walkway, intended for taking cover in bad weather. It is a unique space in this town: a refuge from the rain and sun and a wonderful architectural framework through which to view the sea.

During lockdown, people everywhere are craving open space, fresh air and distraction from news of the unfolding pandemic. The hour of allotted daily exercise offers, in this town, a particularly valued opportunity to "promenade". During the weeklong Historic England commission, I made a series of photographs in Bottle Alley, documenting the quiet, slow days and our heightened relationship to the sea."


This is part of the Volume: HEC01/036/02/10 Picturing Lockdown Collection: Artists' Submissions - Chloe Dewe Mathews; within the Sub Series: HEC01/036/02 Picturing Lockdown Collection - Artists' Submissions; within the Series: HEC01/036 Picturing Lockdown Collection; within the Collection: HEC01 Historic England


© Chloe Dewe Mathews

People & Organisations

Photographer: Dewe Mathews, Chloe


Mid 20th Century Promenade, Health And Welfare, Seaside